New Apple patent apps filed, including major touchscreen patent for MacBook, Tablet Mac, iPod

Three new Apple patent applications were published today by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office:

• United States Patent Application #20060259503: “Customizable, dynamic and on-demand database-informer for relational databases ” (Filed: May 12, 2005)
Techniques for displaying information associated with a database are disclosed. A database-informer displays information (or additional information) about various database objects displayed for a user. The database-informer may be presented to user as a tool-tip. However, the database-informer can be customized and dynamically constructed based on various variables that are dynamically determined at runtime. As such, the information can be dynamically determined based on variables stored in different tables and provided on-demand when the database-informer is invoked by the user. As a result, database users can be provided with customized and up-to-date information without having to view different tables.
Full application here.

• United States Patent Application #20060256090: “Mechanical overlay ” (Filed: May 12, 2005)
Mechanical overlays for placement over touch sensing devices are disclosed. The mechanical overlays include one or more mechanical actuators that provide touch inputs to the touch sensing devices.
Full application here.

• United States Patent Application #20060256037: “Active enclosure for computing device ” (Filed: July 12, 2006)
A computing device is disclosed. The computing device includes a housing having an illuminable portion. The computing device also includes a light device disposed inside the housing. The light device is configured to illuminate the illuminable portion.
Full application here.

Neo reports for MacNN regaring the “Mechanical overlay ” patent, “This powerful patent provides several great examples of mechanical touchscreen overlays which could be used with a future iPod, cell phone, PDA, remote control or gaming device. Furthermore, the patent provides us with a unique glimpse into how touchscreens will eventually replace traditional MacBook keyboards in addition to providing users with the ability to transform the new keyboard-GUI into being a piano keyboard amongst other great and fun applications.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Disney patent application shows ESPN video content coming to wireless iPod – November 09, 2006
New Apple patent application for ‘Actuating User Interface for Media Player’ published – November 09, 2006
Three new Apple patent applications relating to ‘digital media assets’ published – November 02, 2006
Apple files major chameleonic iPod touch display patent – October 26, 2006
Apple patent hints at new type of Mac laptop – October 24, 2006
Apple patent application suggests iPod satellite radio support – October 19, 2006
Apple’s new iTV universal remote control patent application published – October 12, 2006
Apple granted six new patents – September 12, 2006
Apple files US patent application for ‘Multi-functional hand-held device’ – September 07, 2006
Apple patent applications show display actuators for electronic devices – August 16, 2006
More info surfaces regarding Apple’s latest iPod touch-screen patent filing – July 21, 2006
Patent application shows iPod capable of live wireless video conferencing – June 13, 2006
Apple files applications for multipoint touch screen, media file patents – May 11, 2006
For more related articles, scroll to the bottom of any page and search MacDailyNews for “patent.”


  1. It doesn’t look like a very elegant solution. Very Un-Apple like.

    I mean are we seriously suggesting that we would be expected to bolt on different interefaces for different uses.

    Say you have a cuboid device with a faceplate. We can attach a numberpad or a clickwheel depending on whether we want it to be a phone or an iPod.

    Aren’t Apple supposed to be more creative than that. I want an elagant device that intuitively does all of those things, without me having to attach different keypads for different functions.

    Ughghg, I’m sure hoping they know something about this that’s not immediately obvious.

  2. i agree with Macaday about the sense of touch. The ipod with the 4 touch buttons above the scroll wheel was probably the worst ipod in terms of interface. Let’s not revisit that, Apple.

    A dual touch-screen turns the MacBook into a DS extreme =)

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